Starting at 100,000: Our network evolution plan in action

5-minute read
  • Work begins to extend fibre optic cable to 100,000 premises in towns and suburbs across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.

  • First stage of work that will continue over three years and get the nbn™ network ready for the high-speed broadband needs and data demands of the future and benefit around two million premises by the end of 2023, as announced recently.

  • Further announcements about future fibre rollout plans to be made in 2021.

With the initial build of the nbn™ network complete, we recently announced plans for the next phase of nbn’s evolution.

The plan includes making our highest (wholesale) speed plans available to more customers, supporting business growth and innovation, and co-investing in regional and rural Australia via a $4.5 billion investment into our network.

Funded entirely by private debt, this investment into Australia’s digital backbone is forecast to create 25,000 additional jobs over the next two years and benefit around two million households.

And this week marks the commencement of our plan in action. 

Making a start at 100,000

We are starting work with our construction partners to extend fibre deeper into selected towns and suburbs around Australia currently serviced by Fibre to the Node (FTTN) technology, ultimately enabling customers living and working in affected premises to place an order for higher speed services.

The new fibre-optic cable rollout will provide eligible customers with the option of taking up higher nbn wholesale speed tiers, should they wish, via Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology. When a customer places an order for a higher speed service, it is likely to trigger the construction of a fibre ‘lead-in’ from the node to their individual premises. This will effectively complete their conversion from FTTN to FTTP technology, on demand, if that is what is required to deliver the desired speed to individual premises.

“Throughout 2020, as people have worked, studied and increasingly entertained themselves at home, approximately 55,000 customers have chosen to upgrade via their internet provider to plans offering download speeds of around 100Mbps or better1," says Stephen Rue, Chief Executive Officer at nbn.

“We see this demand for higher speed broadband services accelerating in the years ahead as more people connect more devices within their homes, and we continue to automate our homes, which inevitably requires faster download and upload speeds and greater capacity to be built into the network.”

Initially, fibre optic cable will be rolled out past approximately 100,000 premises in the following locations: 

New South Wales

  • Belmont North 
  • Carramar 
  • Castle Hill 
  • Charlestown 
  • Holsworthy 
  • Liverpool 
  • Toronto 
  • Wetherill Park

Queensland

  • Acacia Ridge 
  • Browns Plains 
  • Eight Mile Plains
  • Oxenford

South Australia

  • Osborne

Victoria

  • Lyndhurst 
  • Narre Warren  

Western Australia

  • Cannington 
  • Double View

Why are these locations first?

These spots have been selected as our initial starting point for reasons including:

Demand – we anticipate strong demand in these metropolitan and regional locations for higher nbn wholesale speed plans.

Workforce – our established construction and delivery partners, and their respective workforces, are ready to work here having recently completed our network’s initial build.

Cost-effectiveness – we can deploy here now with speed and agility, in a way that our investment is most likely to spread and multiply economic activity across the nation.

It’s worth noting that these 100,000 premises represent only 5 per cent of the fibre build program, they're not indicative of the wider footprint in terms of representation across states and territories or regional and metro areas. Our aim is to extend fibre past an additional two million homes and businesses by the end of 2023.

I live here! When can I get it?

With construction starting for these initial 100,000 premises, we’re looking forward to letting you know soon when it becomes available at your place.

We’ll keep you updated on our progress, so check back regularly for the latest news. 

How does it work?

This is an on-demand model.

Once available, eligible customers will be able to place an order with their phone and internet provider for a higher speed tier. If FTTP is needed to deliver that speed to their premises, a fibre lead-in will then be installed to complete the conversion from FTTN to FTTP.

If the desired speed can be achieved via our existing FTTN technology, then nothing will change. Fibre lead-ins will only be installed where they’re needed to achieve the desired speed.

I don’t live here – but I still want high speeds…

We totally understand! That’s why we already offer a range of wholesale speeds for residential and business customers.

Our residential speed tiers range from Home Basic through to Home Ultrafast, and we also have options to suit Small and Medium Businesses and Enterprise and Government.

We recommend chatting to your preferred phone and internet provider to find the right speed tier to suit your needs. You can also learn more about making the most of your internet experience

What locations are next?

Our aim is to extend the Local Fibre Network to an additional two million homes and businesses by the end of 2023.

Over the coming months, nbn will consult with phone and internet providers to determine how eligible customers will be able to express their interest in ordering a higher speed broadband service and acquiring a fibre lead-in to their premises, should it be required.

So, stay tuned for further announcements in 2021 about future rollout plans. 

Upgrading nbn’s Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) network

Also part of the $4.5 billion network investment program is upgrading nbn’s HFC network.

With almost 2.5 million premises in capital cities across Australia connected via HFC technology, the upgrade means wholesale download speeds of 500Mbps to close to 1Gbpsshould be achievable by the end of 2021.

And, we’re making good progress on the upgrade.

By the end of November this year, we forecast that around 25 per cent of premises will be able to order our nbn™ Ultrafast speed tier, increasing to an estimated two-thirds of premises by June 2021.

“We are investing now and will be working hard in suburbs and towns throughout Australia over the next three years to make the nbn ready for the high-speed broadband needs and data demands of the future,” says Stephen.

Your experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ network, depends on the nbn™ access network technology and configuration over which services are delivered to your premises, whether you are using the internet during the busy period, and some factors outside nbn’s control (like your equipment quality, software, broadband plan, signal reception and how your service provider designs its network). Speeds may also be impacted by the number of concurrent users on the nbn™ Fixed Wireless network, including during busy periods. Satellite end customers may also experience latency.

Regardless of the retail service you purchase, the actual wholesale speeds delivered by nbn’s highest wholesale speed tiers of 500 to close to 1000 Mbps will be less than 1Gbps due to equipment and network limitations and the peak information rate may fall anywhere in this range. In addition, the HFC Home Ultrafast bandwidth profile downstream service provided to retail providers is a ranged profile with a maximum sustained information rate of 750Mbps. Reference to speeds are not end user speeds; they are wholesale layer 2 peak information rate bandwidth provided to retail providers. An end customer’s experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ network, depends on some factors outside our control (like equipment quality, software, and how your retail service provider designs its network) and the nbn technology used for your connection.